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“Honeygate” Sting Fines Michigan Company for Anti-Dumping Violations

A joint operation by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agencies resulted in a $2 million fine levied on Onsted, Michigan based Groeb Farms. Officials alleged that the company smuggled or mislabeled honey from China in order to evade Anti-Dumping Duties imposed on Chinese honey based on past evidence of Chinese producers selling honey for less than market price in the U.S. Rolf Richter, the CEO of Groeb Farms, stated “we take full responsibility for and deeply regret any errors that were made in the past regarding the import of honey.” The company entered a corporate compliance program and dismissed the senior executives responsible for the violations. Customs fraud, especially the evasion of Anti-Dumping or Countervailing Duties, appears to be on the rise. Courts have permitted whistleblowers to report these violations and receive a portion of the proceeds as a reward.

Amanda Narvaes

Amanda Narvaes

Amanda P. Narvaes, a Partner, joined Drew Cooper & Anding in 2011. Ms. Narvaes is a civil litigator in the areas of complex commercial litigation, lender liability, copyright litigation, and consumer protection. She graduated cum laude from Carleton College with a bachelor’s degree in history. She earned her law degree at WMU-Thomas M. Cooley Law School, graduating magna cum laude, and received Cooley’s Distinguished Student Award. Ms. Narvaes represents clients before Michigan trial courts across the state and in the Michigan Court of Appeals, and before the United States District Courts for the Western and Eastern District of Michigan. Ms. Narvaes has been a guest speaker in Ron Foster’s “Litigation for Paralegals” class. Ms. Narvaes discusses differences between Federal civil discovery rules and Michigan civil discovery rules.